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When Conversations Lead To Mobile Searches

There are 7 billion people in the world, with about 2 billion connected to the Internet. Some 1 billion have smartphones. Suzanne Mumford, Google product marketing manager, cited those numbers from a recent presentation by Eric Schmidt. She said Android activates 850,000 phones daily running the operating system, and one-third of mobile searches have local intent, meaning people searching for nearby businesses.

I recently heard a radio commercial on one of my two favorite southern California country stations for GoMo, Google's initiative to help businesses build a mobile Web site and strategy. The deal offered companies Google's help in Web development and hosting space.

Some 79% of large online advertisers still don't have what Google considers a mobile-friendly site. A Google webinar Thursday supported the GoMo campaign. When asked during the webinar how many businesses on the call have built a mobile-friendly site, about 42% said yes and the remainder said no.

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It turns out that 53% of Americans own a smartphone. About 95% use smartphones to search, 77% in a store, 43% while commuting to work. I am one of those 13% who pull out their smartphone to search on something during a conversation to look for a business, confirm facts, or further thoughts in a conversation.

Consumers engage and purchase more from mobile sites, according to Google. Consider these stats. Fifty-one percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from retailers that have mobile-specific Web sites. Research has shown that Web retailers could increase consumer engagement, such as time on site, by 85% with a mobile-specific Web site. And 40% said they would visit a competitor's mobile site instead. Those Compuware numbers from "Why the mobile Web is disappointing end-users" are from a year-old study.

Since then, Google and Microsoft have opened the doors to more features for mobile ad campaigns, such as targeting day and time.

For Google, it's part of its GoMo strategy. Drive consumers to a mobile-friendly landing page, separate mobile from desktop campaigns, use mobile-specific keywords, and rely on made-for-mobile ad formats.

To make a point, Mumford shared data from a Roy's Restaurants ads case study. She said the company achieved 800% return on investment with hyperlocal advertising and mobile-only campaigns. After realizing that mobile traffic outperformed desktop traffic in click-through rates and cost per clicks, Roy's created a separate mobile-only campaign  to maximize the number of calls and clicks, using hyperlocal location extensions to better target mobile customers.

The results stated in the report include achieving "800% ROI on mobile-only campaigns, drove 40% more calls, hyperlocal mobile ads had a 539% higher CTR and 67% cheaper CPC compared to previous desktop campaigns."

How many times have you had a conversation with someone in person and reached for your smartphone to consult? 

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